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Newcomer gives FD a boost

* Editor’s note: This series follows the on and off the field experiences of Drew DeMers, a college baseball player. DeMers is playing the outfield for the Fort Dodge Gypsum Miners this summer at Patterson Field. He will also be volunteering in various ways throughout the city. DeMers is staying with staff writer Chad Thompson at his home in Fort Dodge.

Drew DeMers and the Fort Dodge Gypsum Miners welcomed a new teammate Thursday night when the team traveled to Carroll to take on the Merchants in the Pioneer Collegiate Baseball League.

And that new teammate didn’t waste any time making a splash.

In fact, all it took was one pitch for fans to take notice of Jackie Jimenez, an infielder from Western Oklahoma State.

Jimenez stepped to the plate in the first inning with the bases loaded.

And on the first pitch Jimenez saw, he belted a grand slam over the left field wall.

That had DeMers and the rest of the squad pretty fired up.

“Our team is going to be really salty now,” DeMers said.

The Miners would go on to win, 12-8, bringing their season record to 3-4.

DeMers said about 500 people were in attendance for the game. He said his teammates looked solid at the plate and on the mound.

“Hector (Santos) did a really good job (pitching),” DeMers said. “He went five innings and gave us a really solid start. Our hitters took advantage of mistakes when they got them.”

Devin Porter, a slugger coming off his sophomore season with the Iowa Central Tritons, also joined the squad. In his debut with the Miners Friday, Porter walked four times and scored two runs.

For the Tritons this spring, Porter was first team all-region — the only Triton to earn that honor. He hit .366 with10 home runs 52 RBI.

He led the Tritons in home runs, RBI, and batting average. Porter holds the single-season Triton record for walks.

After the game at Carroll, the players were treated to some hot dogs and chips for their efforts.

In the PCBL, the home team provides the away players with a meal.

It was about an hour drive back to Fort Dodge.

The Miners had off day on a rainy Friday.

On Friday night, DeMers tried out the food at Lefti’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. He ordered the Hawaiian chicken sandwich.

“It was really good,” he said.

The Miners will be in action again on Saturday when they play the Storm Lake Whitecaps at Patterson Field.

First pitch is set for 5 p.m.

*This series will run Wednesday and Saturday of every week until the end of the season.